On Friday, March 3rd, I took a group of students all the way down to the George Washington National forest right across from Shenandoah National park for a weekend camping trip. After a long drive south, we hiked three miles up a mountain on a trail that was at times extremely steep. Once we got to the top, we set up camp. The stars were breathtaking and several of us did not pitch a tent so that we could gaze upon them as we fell asleep. We woke up after a cold first night and ate breakfast and soon after discovered that the Northeast side of the mountain was much warmer and blocked the wind, so we moved camp. Then the guys explored the mountainside and the river, played cards by the fire or worked on their sleeping arrangements for the coming night. After a glorious sunset, the boys sang songs and cooked dinner around the campfire.After dinner, they told stories, sang more songs to the valley below, and went to bed early. The next morning everyone was up before sunrise. James Smith started a fire and we warmed up while watching the sun slowly paint the mountains and valleys around. After cooking breakfast and packing up, we hiked out and attended Mass in Front Royal, VA. After Mass, Peter Gaetano, an alumnus from 2012, and his wife Elizabeth hosted us for a fantastic brunch before the long ride home later that day. The trip was an unforgettable adventure. The Shenandoah mountains and valleys already harken us b
ack and the words of the folk song “O Shenandoah” echo in our minds as we dream of those special places in our hearts.
It is the duty of a boys’ school to understand the nature and disposition of boys, which is to understand their psychology, physiology, and temperaments. At Gregory the Great Academy, competitive sport is a crucial source of educational development and formation in these vital areas. The body must be cared for as well as the soul and mind. Playing sports leads a boy to a true self-awareness and can teach him such important virtues as perseverance, courage, self-mastery, and magnanimity. Athletics also give boys very tangible lessons about human nature and how to react to adversity. Winning or losing a hard match properly and in the right spirit teaches young men much about what it is to be a man.
This year, the Gregory the Great Highlanders RFC 7’s has two varsity teams that are competing in tournaments throughout the Pennsylvania area: Varsity Black, comprised of many returning and senior members, and Varsity Red which has newer and younger players.
This past weekend, the 7’s teams competed in their fourth tournament of the season held in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Varsity Red won a hard-fought battle against a physical and skilled team from Pittsburgh, earning them the 5th seed in the playoffs.
Varsity Black won both of their pool stage matches without conceding any points, thus earning the top seed in the playoffs. The Highlanders came away with a decisive win in the semi-final match against a very aggressive squad. The final was a close affair played against a talented and well-coached team, with the Highlanders just missing the championship title at the end.
The Highlanders have grown and improved with each and every tournament, and have their eyes on the Pennsylvania 2016 state title held at the end of the month. Please pray for their success!
Gregory the Great Academy celebrated the second weekend in October with their annual Robin Hood Days festivities. Activities for Saturday afternoon included competitions in knife throwing, fire building (without matches of course), archery, quarter staff jousting, and a timed rabbit hunting exercise. The students camped out on Friday night and on Saturday, ate a deer shot by Mr. McMyne, who organized the day.
Come, fill us some sack! Let us e’er be merry while we may, for man is but dust, and he hath but a span to live here till the worm getteth him, as our good gossip Swanthold sayeth; so let life be merry while it lasts, say I.
~The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle